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Connected filters are edge-preserving morphological operators, which rely on a notion of connectivity. This is usually the standard 4 and 8-connectivity, which is often too rigid since it cannot model generalized groupings such as object clusters or partitions. In the set-theoretical framework of connectivity, these groupings are modeled by the more general second-generation connectivity. In this paper, we present both an extension of this theory, and provide an efficient algorithm based on the Max-Tree to compute attribute filters based on these connectivities. We first look into the drawbacks of the existing framework that separates clustering and partitioning and is directly dependent on the properties of a preselected operator. We then propose a new type of second-generation connectivity termed mask-based connectivity which eliminates all previous dependencies and extends the ways the image domain can be connected. A previously developed Dual-Input Max-Tree algorithm for area openings is adapted for the wider class of attribute filters on images characterized by second-generation connectivity. CPU-times for the new algorithm are comparable to the original algorithm, typically deviating less than 10 percent either way.
Mathematical morphology, second-generation connectivity, connectivity class, clustering, partitioning, dual input max-tree, attribute filter.

G. K. Ouzounis and M. H. Wilkinson, "Mask-Based Second-Generation Connectivity and Attribute Filters," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 29, no. , pp. 990-1004, 2007.
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